Cornelia's Story - book review

Book review


Cornelia’s Story



Each generation finds it hard to believe their predecessors experienced trials and pressures similar to those that they face.  The reality, of course, is that “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  That is why the lessons of faithful servants in the Scripture have an enduring value for saints in all ages.  Sometimes, however, the very fact that lives – no matter how humble – are described in the Bible can make the people involved seem remote.  Yet God is served in the little things of our humdrum lives just as surely as he is served in the monumental battles of warriors of the faith.


In 1992 a youth leader in the Caribbean approached the editors of The Caribbean Pioneer about the perception of some young people that the believers in the First Century had an easier time than do believers today.  For that reason some seemed to feel that the New Testament lacked relevance for them as young people.  In response to this perception the editors commissioned a series of articles in their magazine dealing with the challenges faced by young people in the First Century ecclesia.


Cornelia’s Story, the fictionalized account of young Sister Cornelia’s experiences in the Caesarea Ecclesia in the sixties of the First Century ran in The Caribbean Pioneer from 1993 to December 1995.  The record was written anonymously by a brother who obviously had a detailed knowledge of life at that time.  Although a fictional record the story is underpinned by exacting attention to historical detail.  Over 20 pages of notes at the end of the book testify to the historicity of the material presented.


The series has been further edited and published in Australia by the Christadelphian Scripture Study Service.  The text runs to some 180 pages and is supplemented by detailed notes and an index.  A large number of illustrations have been included.  These will be of interest to all and will assist in particular those readers not familiar with the history and culture of the time to appreciate the story.


Our community is blessed with a wide range of high-quality exegetical literature but it lacks books suitable for lighter reading.  This book, while providing valuable background for any student interested in the First Century ecclesia, will also fill an important niche in the area of light reading for relaxation.  The book may be heartily recommended to all brothers and sisters.  It is particularly suitable for young people – especially those recently baptized or contemplating baptism.  It would make an excellent prize for senior Sunday School scholars.



Geoff Henstock

This review first appeared in The Shield magazine for December 2009